SPEECH BY DR. PAPA KWESI NDUOM ON A NEW PROGRESSIVE POLITICAL MOVEMENT FOR THE 2012 ELECTIONS – DECEMBER 28, 2011
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Thank you for honouring our invitation to participate in this event which we believe will chart a very different and positive course in the political environment of our dear country, Ghana. As you very well know, I do not engage in politics of insults, acts of violence or disrespectful behaviour. I believe that public service is an honourable duty that should be performed with passion and vim. I believe in politics that presents ideas and solutions to the problems that confront us as a nation for consideration and implementation.
I am here this morning to declare my resolve to work with like-minded men and women from all over the country, to form a very focused, vibrant, independent-minded and progressive Political Movement to contest the 2012 Presidential and Parliamentary elections. Our Political Movement will work hard to be a winner in 2012. It will be difficult, we know, but we are prepared to do everything possible to give Ghanaians an alternative that is progressive and different in a very positive way.
This means that when the Convention People’s Party (CPP) opens its nominations next month to elect a Presidential Candidate, I will not participate in that process. In all human endeavours, it is important to know when to change course to obtain a positive result. I wish the CPP well as it seeks to chart the course announced by its new Leadership. For me, this is the time to look forward and forward only, to a new and different political order.
Our new political movement aims to present a credible, united, disciplined and well-organised election machine that is coupled with a clear, specific Platform for Change Ghanaians can feel in their lives and in their pockets within four years. Ours is a broad-based national Movement with people who have been crying for the “change we need” after experiencing NDC and NPP administrations that have not delivered to their expectations. We are a Political Movement guided by an agenda for change. Unfortunately, the Ghanaian electoral laws do not permit a collective of independent like-minded people to use the same platform and symbol for presidential and parliamentary campaigns. So we will by necessity convert from Political Movement to become a political party. We will inaugurate this truly national Political Movement in the next two months at a national convention that will demonstrate our true character, strength and the depth of human capital that we are gathering. Our goal is to contest the 2012 elections with a positive, progressive, different force not felt in the Fourth Republic.
The progress we are seeking is the one we will make together. It is this progress that will reinvent Ghana. This Movement will succeed because we aim to reinvent ourselves, our attitudes and our way of life as Ghanaians. The voices of the times have moved on and we have listened before gathering courage to stand before you today to speak to the nation.
We are grateful to all the well-wishers and supporters who have been demonstrating their interest in being part of a new political force in Ghana; they are putting together presidential and parliamentary campaign organisations where they find themselves in the ten regions and 230 constituencies. Our action today will solidify the interest of all independent and progressive-minded people who want something different from what has been offered by the political parties so far in the Fourth Republic. Our Movement will have a different character – less bureaucratic and more field and action oriented – from what has typically been the case in Ghana in the Fourth Republic. Ours is a mass movement, a collective, that is not based on any one individual and one that will depend on merit and hard work to determine who occupies what leadership position.
We urge all who think and believe that Ghana deserves better leadership and the best government possible to join us now. If you are a teacher or nurse who believes that you can get your just reward right here on earth, join us. If you are a policeman, prison officer, fire service man or woman or soldier who needs better tools and technology to provide better service to the nation, join us. If you are a driver, a house help, a construction worker, join us for a more secure future. If you are a farmer or fisherman who is crying for help to make a better living, join us. If you are in the public service and in need of better motivation and equipment, join us. If you are in the private sector and need support from your government to grow your business, join us. If you are a Ghanaian who believes that our natural resources – gold, bauxite, manganese, diamond, oil and gas must benefit the Ghanaian now, join us. If you have supported the NDC, NPP and the other political parties and you now feel the need for an alternative, join us now. We are there for the Ghanaian. We are there for you.
Our Movement’s orientation and our core beliefs about the world we live in are Progressive. This means we believe in broad-based human progress that is felt by the people. We believe that under our leadership, Ghana can move from a third world nation to a first world nation by working with a great sense of duty and urgency. We believe in Ghanaian excellence. We believe in Ghanaian prosperity. We believe in all of the Ghanaian people. We will fight for dramatically accelerated developmental progress. We will fight to move Ghana away from the maintenance of mediocrity, the culture of indiscipline, the constant failure of leadership, the cruelty of resource mismanagement and the tragedy of low expectations for developing African nations such as Ghana.
Unlike the other Ghanaian political parties, we are not selling an ideological mission to the Ghanaian people.We are Pragmatists. Ghanaians want food to eat, they want a home to live in, they want good health and safe roads, they want the best education for their children, and they want good jobs. We care about governance that works for all Ghanaian people.
Science, Technology, Education and Math (STEM) will be at the heart of our efforts. Through science, technology, selfless dedication to work and discipline, we will identify, test and implement the policies and programs that will deliver progress to the Ghanaian nation. When the best individuals who can deliver results to the Ghanaian people are at the helm of this nation at the Presidential and Parliamentary levels, Ghana will achieve the transformation that has been denied Ghanaians for so long.
Progressive, pragmatic leadership the type that focuses on education, job creation, industrialization, housing and dealing with preventive diseases will lead Ghana to Prosperity in Peace!
Our Movement’s leadership will mandate the use of the purchasing power of the State to ensure that we maximize the potential of local industries in all areas – agriculture, technology, consumer goods etc. Ours is a truly radical Movement that will put the Ghanaian in front of everything that happens in this country.
The pillars of our message are familiar to Ghanaians. Specifically, we have over the years shown a consistency that can only come from strong conviction. First of all we believe in inclusiveness. We are against the winner takes all approach to our politics and will use the brightest and the best to take Ghana to higher levels.
Secondly we hold the view that one does not need to have an affiliated seat in parliament to become President. We are governed by a presidential system and not a parliamentary system. That said, the president we help elect into office, will cooperate with parliament and forge an effective partnership to ensure agreement on an urgent agenda for the accelerated development of Ghana. It is the President who makes or doesn’t make things happen. That is why those who believe in this new direction should stress the personal comparison rather than party consideration. The NPP and the NDC may be big established parties, but none of that translates into effective leadership. We wish to ask all voters to make a change by considering the experience and personal attributes we are offering and vote for me to make the difference that they desire in their lives. Everywhere we go, our young men and women cry out for one thing – jobs, jobs, jobs. Well, what we can say to them today is, “Have no fear, “Edwumawura” is here!
A new future beckons but it will not come into being unless we make a break from the old way of doing things. The time for action is now.
What our experience in the 4th Republic has taught us is that we need a President who is by practical experience best suited for the job and who has demonstrated in his private life and in public service the ability to deliver positive results. I, Papa Kwesi Nduom, “Edwumawura”, believe I am the person most suited for the position of President of the Republic of Ghana come January 2013.
A few weeks ago, we stated that the 2012 campaign will be the continuation of the journey we started in 2008. This journey must end in the Flagstaff House. That, my friends, is our destination. In 2008, we were given great reception throughout the country. Our campaign team has great memories we will forever cherish of traditional authorities and people from all walks of life encouraging us to do our best to convince them to vote for us. We remember that from Pusiga to Prestea, from Wa throughWalewale to Wiawso; from Tuobodom to Takoradi; from Enchi through Ejura to Elmina; Dunkwa to Damango to Dzelukope; from Obom-Domeabra to Obuasi you told us that Ghana needed change. You told us that it was our responsibility to give the people positive reasons to vote for the change we were offering.
We had a great message of change you can feel in your pocket to give hope and dignity to the Ghanaian in his or her own country. There was an enthusiastic army of young men and women who believed that Ghana deserved better. We experienced the hopes and dreams of ordinary men and women who walked and used their sweat to support our campaign. We have fine-tuned our strategy to enable us get a much better result than we got in 2008. We are running a Youth-based campaign. Indeed our Movement is driven by men and women under the age of 35.
We have built a strong volunteer group powered by youthful energy, enthusiasm and limitless talent. Our goal is to educate and give experience to these young men and women to sit around the decision-making table and gain the confidence needed by them to take over the Movement.
In 2008, we promised that together, we would build a great country. We promised that together, we would unite our people. Together, we would run an inclusive government and do something different – bring inclusiveness into Ghanaian society so that the best people get the right jobs and contracts. We promised that an administration led by me would be open, transparent and will attack corruption and indiscipline with a sense of urgency so that we could build a just and caring society that is prosperous. We still stand by these promises. Ghanaians have a big choice to make in 2012 – stagnation or progress.
We encourage all Ghanaians to join our progressive Political Movement now so that we can build the alternative that will bring the change we need.
Join this new, different Progressive Political Movement!
Thank you for your attention.
There are ten agenda items that our Movement wants the opportunity to implement when our candidate is made President of the Republic of Ghana come January 2013:
1. Create a just and disciplined society. Create a just and disciplined society with a passion for excellence within ten years and with science and technology as the cornerstone, become a higher level middle income country.
2. Improve the Performance of Government. Reform state institutions, make government efficient and raise revenue to be able to pay public servants well to motivate them facilitate the work of the private sector and Ghanaian society in general.
3. Give Power to the People for Development. Sponsor changing the Constitution to enable the election of all District Assembly Members and District/Municipal/Metropolitan Chief Executives to ensure local accountability and rapid development. This we will do in one term of office.
4. Strengthen Parliament to perform its legislative duties effectively.Sponsor changing the Constitution to abolish the provision that allows Ministers of State to also serve as Members of Parliament. We believe that this move will make available for governance a large pool of qualified, experienced Ghanaian talent whose expertise is currently unused and therefore lost to Ghana. This we will aim to complete in one term of office. Concurrent with this objective will be a solid determination to give Parliament the facilities and resources needed to pass good laws and scrutinize the proposals submitted by the Executive effectively.
5. Provide Quality Education for Every Ghanaian Child.Standardize school facilities from kindergarten to Senior High School with libraries, toilets, classrooms, kitchen, housing for teachers, playground, etc: and Ensure free and compulsory education in public schools from kindergarten to Senior High School (including computer training). We will deploy an “Education Police” to enforce the compulsory aspect of our policy. An integral part of this objective will be an objective to significantly increase vocational training so that all school leavers gain employable skills.
6. Provide Energy for Industrialisation and Rapid Development. Implement solutions with a sense of urgency to meet domestic needs for industry and domestic use and make Ghana a net exporter of power again in four years. To enable us achieve this objective, we will provide tax incentives to enable development of alternative sources of fuel and power – bio fuels and solar. We aim to ensure that the contribution from alternative sources of energy reaches a minimum of 10% of what we need in a decade.
7. Provide Better Health Care and Cleaner Environment. Ensure a cleaner environment free from preventable diseases like malaria, cholera and guinea worm. Provide affordable and accessible health care for all in every region. Ensure emergency care throughout the country to save lives. Our focus will be in the area of prevention where education is the key.
8. Attack Crime, the Drug Trade and Corruption.Attack crime, the drug trade and corruption aggressively using leadership by example, being modest in government, passing and implementing the Right to Information Bill and ensuring an independent prosecutor’s office exists separate from the Ministry of Justice. Strengthen the Narcotics Control Board to make it the agency responsible for fighting the drug trade with all the human, financial and other resources needed for success. Strengthen the Police Force by providing resources and training to fight crime.
9. Create a Homecoming Secretariat. Establish a Secretariat to cater for the needs of Ghanaians Abroad and the African Diaspora by June 30th 2013. Provide a support system to encourage re-entry, investment, safe and healthy vacations and transfer of knowledge and technology.
10. Create Jobs.Use government’s purchasing power to ensure that we eat what we grow and use what we produce in Ghana. Improve Ghana’s business climate to enable investment in job creation so that our people will stay at home to help develop the country and its economy. We will be relentless in providing support to Ghanaian industry and our farmers and fishermen using low interest loans, technical assistance, tax incentives and priority access to the Ghanaian market. To accelerate job creation nationally, an inter-region highway will be built with the same high quality throughout the country to open up the country for investment and development.